Dear Class of 2019,

Congratulations on your acceptance to our university!
Your invitation to join our community is indeed a testa-
ment to your academic excellence, your impressive extra-
curricular involvement, and the unique set of passions,
goals, and beliefs that characterize you as an individual.

And, now that you’re on your way to our campus,
please completely get rid of all of that. Don’t leave any-
thing remaining. At all. It’ll be much easier for the both
of us if you forget everything about who you once were.
Instead, please adhere to the following simple rule.

In college, when presented with any object, book,
movie, song, sandwich, cocktail, mustache, pair of un-
derpants, brand of suppository, or mythological winged
creature, your opinion of it must be formed after and only
after taking stock of the opinions in your social group. If
most people around you state that the item in question is
shitty, your opinion will be that it is shitty. If a majority or
more state that it is “pretty cool,” your opinion will be that
it is pretty cool. Otherwise, please utilize the phrase “it’s
whatever” to mask the debilitating anxiety you will other-
wise experience. In the case that the group opinion fluctu-
ates in the future, this will also allow you to set yourself up
for a shift to “shitty” or “pretty cool” as may be appropri-
ate. This is the tried-and-true Law of Conversation. It’s
a Yale staple. Please note that the Law of Conversation
must be reapplied to every separate social group you find
yourself involved in.

In this manner, every single decision you make through-
out your four bright college years will have a strong and
foolproof foundation. You’ll never have to worry about
being judged for what you wear, which a cappella groups
you don’t want to join, what you think about abortion, or
what your favorite shade of magenta is. The only thing left
to deal with is your physical appearance. But we’ll work
on that later in our seminar “Rich People Skin: How to
Appear in Photos with Your Greenwich Roommate with
Minimal Shame.” We’ve gone ahead and pre-enrolled
you. You’re welcome.

Oh, and welcome to New Haven. Your acquaintanc-
es are going to like the way you look.* We guarantee it.

Jonathan Holloway
Dean of Yale College

*As well as the way you think, express yourself, and live your entire life.

—J. Shi